Poole bus service cuts 'will hit elderly', says Age UK

Cuts to bus services in Poole have been condemned by Age UK who fear elderly people will be left "stranded".

The decision to reduce services on six routes without an alternative option will affect vulnerable people, the charity said.

A spokesman for Poole Borough Council said the cuts would save £100,000 a year from its £800,000 bus subsidy budget.

The reduced service timetable will come into effect on Sunday 25 May.

Transport cabinet councillor Ian Potter said: "We recognise that some passengers will be affected by these bus service reductions.

"However, we have worked with Wilts & Dorset [bus operator] to deliver proposals that reduce or combine routes, rather than remove services completely."

'Will worsen isolation'

Age UK Bournemouth's chief officer David Leighton said the population of elderly residents in Dorset was up to 6% higher than the national average.

He said the cuts would "make the isolation worse" for those living in the county's rural areas.

Age UK director Caroline Abrahams said: "Further cuts to services will hit the poorest and most vulnerable who rely on buses to get around to their GP, the local hospital, do their shopping and to visit friends and family.

"Cuts are leaving bus services in some areas at a critical level without alternatives being provided leaving many older people stranded."

The cuts will affects routes 1, 4, 5/6, 8/9, 14/16 and 32.

Last year, plans to cut bus services across Dorset by the county council had to be revised following negative feedback.

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